Image shows two labradors wearing white lab coats and blue surgical hairnets, looking as if they just finished a grueling shift.

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine is hosting its community Pet Day event on Saturday, May 7. Leashed animals of all kinds are invited to attend with their humans.

This will be the first Pet Day in two years due to the pandemic and the first in the recently expanded veterinary school, after the 2019 event took place amid ongoing construction. The 21,729-square-foot expansion of Magruder Hall includes additional instruction space and allows for increased services at the small animal hospital.

Student organizers have scheduled a packed day of interactive and educational activities, and they anticipate heightened interest after the last two years saw more people adopting pets and more people working from home in close proximity with their animals.

“I think a lot of people are more in tune with little quirks their pets may have that they didn’t know about before the pandemic,” said Kayla Ashland, a second-year veterinary student.

Students will lead tours of the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital during the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This will allow visitors to see parts of the hospital not usually open to the public, including the departments of rural veterinary practice, rehabilitation, diagnostic imaging and small animal internal medicine.

The tours are meant as a stress-free way for owners to meet the doctors and technicians who may care for their pet in the future, so they can feel more at ease upon later visits when their pet is ill or injured, organizers said.

Prior to the Pet Day activities at the hospital, owners and their leashed pets can join the 5K Fun Run at 9 a.m. with same-day registration opening at 7 a.m.; costumes are encouraged. The route winds around the northwest side of OSU’s campus. Register here.

During Pet Day, Brad’s World Reptiles will have a reptile exhibit in the Magruder Hall atrium where participants can hold various animals. Outside, there will be llamas to pet and the OSU Sheep Barn will host an interactive station about sheep.

There will also be a hands-on science station where attendees can try out microscopes, a teddy bear surgery station where students will help kids perform “surgery” on stuffed animals, and a “Wonders of Anatomy” exhibit in the anatomy lab for visitors who want to see skulls and other specimens.

In the parking lot, students will offer free nail trims and dog washing. Donations are encouraged but not required; all proceeds will go toward veterinary student activities, including graduation.

Outdoors, there will be a dog agility course where trainers from the local groups Best Friends Agility and WonderDogs will hold a few shows and competitions.

New this year is the “Barkery,” where students will be baking and selling dog biscuits. For humans, food trucks will be on site selling Mediterranean food and OSU Creamery products.

Cat owners are invited to submit pictures of their favorite felines for the Cat Photo Contest prior to April 28. And on the day of the event, there will be a Pet Costume Contest; owners can check in between 10:30 a.m. and noon, with judging from 12:30-2 p.m.

While on campus, visitors should also check out the new sculpture garden outside the veterinary school, where they’re encouraged to “boop” the beaver’s nose or pose for photos with the bronze animals.

“We wanted to give the public a lot of exposure to different animals, more than in the past, and also put a real emphasis on education,” said first-year student Michaela Rybolt. “A lot of people have pets they didn’t have two years ago and they have a lot of questions. We wanted to have education rolled into something fun.”

Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine

About the OSU Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine: The college serves the needs of Oregon, the nation and the world by training the next generation of practice-ready veterinarians, providing state-of-the-art diagnostic and clinical services and supporting the continuing education of veterinary practitioners. Biomedical research conducted at the college increasingly expands the scope of veterinary medicine to address both animal health issues and the relevance of animal diseases to public health.

Story By: 

Molly Rosbach, [email protected]


Katrina Coalwell, [email protected]; Kayla Ashland, [email protected]; Patrick Callagy, [email protected]; and Michaela Rybolt, [email protected].


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